Epilepsy affects over 250,000 Australians and 3-5% of Australians will experience epilepsy at some point in their lives. Epilepsy is a serious neurological disorder that causes abnormal brain activity. Anyone can develop epilepsy regardless of gender, ethnic background or age. Worldwide, around 50 million people have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally.
A person diagnosed with epilepsy can experience varying symptoms that include epileptic seizures, unusual behaviour, sensations, and loss of awareness. According to Epilepsy Action Australia, epilepsy is linked with an increased risk of death, up to 2-3 times compared to someone without the disorder. In an emergency, an epilepsy or seizure medical ID bracelet or necklace can help its wearer get the appropriate diagnosis and care they need.
"Consider using a medical ID wristband/bracelet/card to let people know you have epilepsy, as well as provide other useful information to assist you in an emergency. For example, if you have a seizure in a public place, people can use the contact details on the ID to get more information about you and your epilepsy." - Epilepsy Foundation Australia
The main symptom of epilepsy is repeated seizures that are caused by abnormal brain activity. However, having a single seizure does not mean you have epilepsy. For example, febrile seizures can occur in a child with a high fever and usually don't develop into epilepsy. Non-epileptic seizures can also be triggered by medical conditions or a reaction to medication, among many others.
Depending on the type of seizure that a person is having, an episode can sometimes cause loss of consciousness or awareness, confusion, changes in behaviour, unexpected slips and falls, strange sensations and emotions, involuntary jerking movements of arms and legs, staring, and aura.
Health organisations in Australia recommend wearing medical alert jewellery to anyone diagnosed with epilepsy or a seizure disorder. In an emergency, epilepsy alert jewellery can help first responders identify and diagnose a person's medical condition, history of seizures, use of anticonvulsants or anti-seizure medication, and who to call, even when a patient is unable to speak or becomes unconscious. Custom engraved alert bracelets or necklaces should have the following information:
A medical ID can also direct others to a person’s emergency wallet card, especially if they have multiple medical conditions, chronic illness, or medications that won’t fit on an alert bracelet or necklace.
"Consider getting a medical ID bracelet that gives details of seizure type and current treatment. Some identification is always advisable particularly when carrying medications." - Epilepsy Action Australia